During the reign of Elizabeth I, England set up trading companies in Turkey, Russia, and the East Indies, explored the coast of North America, and established colonies there. In the early seventeenth century those colonies were expanded and the systematic colonization of Ulster in Ireland got underway. The first British Empire was a mercantile one. Under both the Stuarts and Cromwellthe mercantilist outlines of further colonization and Empire-building became more and more apparent.
Foreign imperialism in China A depiction of Europeans and Japanese strangling Chinese nationalism Foreign imperialism in China was a critical cause of revolutionary sentiment. European interest in dates back to Marco Polo, the Venetian explorer who completed two expeditions to China in the late s and published a widely read account of his voyages.
Over the next three centuries Britain, France, Spain, Holland and Portugal all established colonies and trade links in Asia. Of these five imperial powers, the British were comparative latecomers to Asia, conquering India, Penang, Singapore, Burma and other territories by the late s.
The outcome of Japan opening its doors was a rapid The british imperialism of china from feudalism to modern industry. With its manufacturing economy, natural resources and enormous population, the Middle Kingdom was a rich prize for Western capitalists. But the actions of foreign imperialists in China also undermined the weakening Qing regime.
Among first foreigners to arrive in China were Christian missionaries. Franciscan monks travelled there in the 13th century, followed by a wave of Jesuits in the 16th century.
One of these Jesuit missionaries, Johann Adam Schall von Bell, became an influential advisor to the first Qing emperor. Over the next few decades, the Qing leadership tried to restrict foreign trade to Macau and the surrounding region, though their efforts were largely in vain.
In the Qing introduced the canton system, requiring foreign companies to trade with a Chinese merchant collective — not directly with the Chinese people. These attempts to limit and control foreign trade activity failed and it began to spread beyond the south-east.
British companies purchased vast amounts of Chinese tea, as well as luxuries like silks, porcelain and other decorative items. Opium is an addictive narcotic, extracted from the poppy flower and usually taken through smoking. Opium was used in China as early as the 15th century — however opium smoking was largely restricted to the privileged classes.
British ships began landing supplies of opium in China in the late s and early s, mainly around the mouth of the Pearl River in Guangdong. Opium became more available and more affordable to all levels of Chinese society, even the working classes. The Qing government understood the social and economic dangers posed by opium.
Beijing attempted to ban its use and importation several times, but these restrictions were difficult to enforce and the British generally ignored them. A French depiction of fighting in the Second Opium War, In a Qing commissioner seized and destroyed 20, cases of British-imported opium, a move that triggered the First Opium War This defeat resulted in a humiliating treaty.
Again the Qing military suffered a humiliating defeat and the emperor was forced into a one-sided treaty.
The Treaty of Tientsin removed the last significant barriers to foreign imperialism in China. Opium use and importation were legalised. Restrictions on Christianity were removed and foreigners were permitted to travel freely around China.
Foreign governments were permitted to establish legations diplomatic compounds in the imperial capital, Beijing — legations that were later attacked during the Boxer Rebellion Russians were unpredictable and, what was much worse, inefficient.
The Japanese were predators, but that was no surprise. But in Chinese eyes the chief foreign encumbrance was still the presence of Great Britain, its first invader.
Thornton, historian With the doors to China thrown open, foreign diplomats, officials, traders and missionaries poured in through the second half of the 19th century. Foreign merchants and agents came to exert strong influence, if not control, over government and commerce in these regions.
The Qing rulers retained their sovereignty and control of the national government, though in reality much of China was under foreign control. This idea was reflected in Western cartoons that depicted China as a gigantic pie or cake, carved up and devoured by European monarchs.
Meanwhile, the Qing regime seemed utterly unable to prevent or resist this process. The First Sino-Japanese War, as it became known, began over disputed territorial control of the Korean peninsula.
This war was another disaster for China. The Japanese had spent the previous quarter of a century embracing industrialism, modern production methods and Western approaches to military command and organisation. In contrast, the Qing had spent most of this period resisting modernisation.
Control of Liaodong gave the Japanese a foothold in Manchuria, where they would stage an invasion of China during the s. These negotiations, however, were done with the other imperial powers in China — not with the Qing government. Beijing was informed rather than consulted, a measure of how impotent and irrelevant the Qing regime had become.
As the 19th century came to an end, China found itself drug-addled, divided, exploited by foreign interests and plagued by corrupt officials.The primary motive of British imperialism in China in the nineteenth century was economic. There was a high demand for Chinese tea, silk and porcelain in the British market.
However, Britain did not possess sufficient silver to trade with the Qing Empire. The Sun Never Set on the British Empire, "Dominion over palm and pine" Some chronicler, speaking of Asia, asserted that one man ruled as much land as the sun passed, and his statement was not true because he placed all Africa and Europe outside the limits .
In the early s, the British treasury was being depleted due to its dependence upon imported tea from China. The Chinese still considered their nation to be the Middle Kingdom, and therefore viewed the goods the Europeans brought to trade withWestern factories in Canton, China.
as nearly. Other articles where History of United Kingdom is discussed: United Kingdom: Ancient Britain: Archaeologists working in Norfolk in the early 21st century discovered stone tools that suggest the presence of humans in Britain from about , to 1 million years ago.
These startling discoveries underlined the extent to which archaeological research is responsible for any knowledge of. The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states.
It originated with the overseas possessions and trading posts established by England between the late 16th and early 18th centuries. At its height, it was the largest empire in history and, for over a century, was the. The British Empire is the most extensive empire in world history and for a time was the foremost global power.
It was a product of the European age of discovery, which began with the global maritime explorations of Portugal and Spain in the late fifteenth century.. By , the British Empire ruled a population of between and million people, approximately one-quarter of the world's.